With a perfect storm of increasingly efficient battery technology and the rising running costs of traditional transport, 2018 could prove to be a tipping point for the electric car. Electric vehicles (EV) have been on the fringes of mainstream transport for the last 30 years but finally appear to be staking a claim as a legitimate alternative to petrol fuelled combustion engines.
These zero-emission vehicles are cheap to run and fun to drive, with a range that can match a full tank of petrol.
You’ve probably already heard the success story of the Tesla model 3, but which EV’s are set to rival the Tesla this year?
Here’s 7 of the most exciting leaps in electric transport to look forward to in 2018.
Jaguar I-pace Specs
- Range – 220 miles
- Performance – 60 mph in 4 secs
- Power – 400 hp
- Charging – 80% charge in 90 minutes
- Price – starting at just under $100,000
Traditionally driven by villains in James Bond movies, Jaguar has a reputation for counter-cool sports vehicles. They’re stepping into the electric sphere with the i-pace. With an expected range of 220+ the 90Kwh is sure to be a fast, reliable vehicle; Jaguars always are.
The biggest question marks are the charge rates and price. Jaguar have confirmed the i-pace will be compatible with fast-charging at standard DC stations. But whether it will can handle newer 150 KW stations remains to be seen.
Those who have already reserved are claiming the price to be in the region of $76,000. We’d like to know a little more about it before investing that kind of money.
Audi Quattro Specs
- Range – 310 miles
- Performance – 62.1 mph in 4.6 secs
- Power – ??? hp
- Charging – 50 minutes
- Price – $41,000 – $49,000
When it comes to making a statement in a new market place it’s a case of go big or go home. That’s Audi’s view at least with the four-wheel drive electric SUV they plan to release later this year.
The German car manufacture have a reputation for producing some of the most efficient cars available. The 95kwh battery pack is predicted to run for a range of up to 275 miles. A stunning achievement for a car much larger, and heavier, than the i-pace.
Most experts expect the E-tron Quattro to be priced similar to the Tesla model X. Audi says, in terms of size, the Quattro will be in-between the Q5 and the Q7. Those retail for around $40,000, so if the Quattro is similar, it will really shake up the market.
Tesla Model-3 Specs
- Range – 220-310 miles
- Performance – 0-60 mph in 5.1-5.6 secs
- Power – 258-271 hp
- Charging – 12 Hours
- Price – $35,000+
**Range, horsepower and performance shown for the base model and upgraded Model-3 Battery option.
It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for. Tesla have currently had over 500,000 pre-reservations for their latest EV the model 3 (https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/future-electric-cars). You might think we’re cheating given this car was available in 2017 but you won’t be able to get your hands on one till late 2018.
This 5-seater sedan will take you an astonishing 310-miles on just one charge. Add to that its affordable $35,000 price tag. More sensible professional than boy-racer what this car lacks in power it more than makes up for in efficiency. Order one now, and you just might get it before new year’s.
4. Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf Specs
- Range – 150 miles
- Performance – 60mph in 8.0 secs
- Power – 147 hp
- Charging – 30 minutes = 88 miles of range (50kw Public Speed charges only)
- Price – Starting at $29,990
Nissan are using their considerable manufacturing might to muscle in on the success of the Tesla model 3. The leaf has a far weaker range, a mere 150 miles, but will cost you less than $30,000.
The 40Kwh battery pack is nothing to get excited about, but the light-weight, sporty design will certainly find a place on most drives in California. You can even invest in an upgraded version that will carry you 235 miles per-charge with 110KWh engine.
Jam-packed with technical innovations like intelligent emergency braking and intelligent lane intervention you might end up feeling like the Nissan leaf is the one driving you.
5. BMW i3
BMW i3 Specs
- Range – 124 miles
- Performance – 60 mph in 7.2 secs
- Power – 170hp (i3) / 184hp (i3s)
- Charging – 4.5 hours
- Price – $44,450
A list wouldn’t be complete without a BMW. The i3 is the updated version with a sportier trim, longer range and battery upgrade. What we liked about the i3 is the option to upgrade it to a hybrid by investing in a range extending gas engine (REX).
All models will have a range of 113-miles using a 94Ah battery pack. You also get a 184hp and a nought to sixty in 6.8 seconds. One of the faster EV’s of 2018 you’ll have to hope the money you save on fuel will make up for the $42,000 base price.
For the eco-conscious, this model is 95% recyclable so we’ll be seeing pieces of the i3 in BMW’s for the next ten years at least.
6. Fiat 500e
Fiat 500e Specs
- Range – 84 miles
- Performance -60mph in 8.4 secs
- Power – 111 hp
- Charging – 4 hours
- Price – $32,995
Technically this model came out in 2017 but there’s exciting plans to upgrade both the battery and torque this year. Allegedly the Fiat 500e costs the company money with every sale it makes. That type of passion shines through in the achingly beautiful looks and drive.
One of the criticisms of EV’s is that they’re inherently boring. It’s a tough moniker to shake off but Fiat do it admirably with the 500e. The light-weight car feels like a go-kart on inner city streets and it’s acceleration is arguably more responsive than the petrol version.
The range of 84 miles alongside the fact it costs twice the amount of the gas version weigh it down somewhat. But if you can overlook those two things, you’ll have a whole lot of love for this sixties inspired electric dream.
7. Chevy bolt
Chevy Bolt Specs
- Range – 238 miles
- Performance – 60mph in 6.5 secs
- Power – 200 hp
- Charging – 9 hours
- Price – $37,495
Chevy were one of the first manufacturers to make a viable attempt at an EV. The limiting 50 mile range was enhanced by a 4 cylinder gas powered engine in case you got caught short on the road. The 2018 version is back with a vengeance offering an epic 238 miles per single charge.
Praised by the Environmental Protection Agency this front-wheel drive saloon offers as comfortable a ride as you’re likely to find in 2018. It lags behind the competition in terms of dash-board tech but thanks to a $7,500 federal tax break you can own one for under $30,000.
Looking to The Future
For those who like to a keep an eye on upcoming tech, there’s one or two promising brands but don’t get your hopes up. We’ve seen tantalising images of EV concept cars from both Faraday Future and Lucid Air, who are saying all the right thing’s in regard to hitting the markets this year.
The problem is that both brands have encountered significant financial set-backs. We’ve been told for the last two-years that a breakthrough is coming but are yet to see it materialize. It could be cool, but we’re not holding our breath.
Over to you – What Electric Cars are you most excited about this year?